Broken Eggs: Ekkamai gastrobar serves eclectic tapas inspired by the chef’s native Galicia

Photo: Broken Eggs/ FB
Photo: Broken Eggs/ FB

Tapas gastrobar Broken Eggs had a stall in Phra Kanong’s W District outdoor food market for a few years before transferring into a shophouse in Ekkamai near Soi 12.

The glass-fronted shophouse looks warm and inviting from the street. Featuring a long bar, wooden tables, original art, and green and gold walls, the place is ideal for a cozy date or night out drinking sangria and catching up with friends. It also has a few tables outside which provide good people watching since Thai hipster bar Ekkanek is located next door and it’s a fairly busy corner of Ekkamai, anyway.

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

Inside, there is a fascinating mural on the wall. It’s one of those pieces that, the more you look at it, the more you see. Featuring an elephant in a chef’s hat, an octopus with his tentacles full of kitchen items including eggs, knife, pan, fork, and a chicken beneath him laying eggs.

Chef and owner Jacobo Astray tells Coconuts Bangkok that the elephant is the head chef, at the top of the mural in his jaunty toque, doing nothing. “He’s sabai-sabai,” laughed Astray, referencing the Thai laid-back attitude. Of course, the elephant represents Thailand. The octopus is the put-upon sous chef, predictably handling too many things himself. He’s an octopus to represent Astray’s home region of Spain, in northern Galicia. The chicken is there to lay the eggs they need for their dishes, some of which are being broken in reference to the restaurant’s name.

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

Their menu is expanded from what they could serve in their food stall and it’s divided into “Classic,” “Gastro,” and “Desserts.” Astray is also pushing out some new dishes and cocktails, the first the restaurant has done. We got to sample some of them, though the recipes are not yet finalized and the drinks not yet named.

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

Though Astray is not a mixologist and, up to now, his restaurant only did Thai craft beers, wines, and gin and tonics, he’s trying to up his game by crafting cocktail recipes himself. Though he demurred that he was just messing around with them, they were far better than some mixtures we’ve had at the city’s best “mixology bars.” 

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

We tried two drinks that reference common cocktails in Galicia. The first riffs on a drink called quemada and mixes grappa with coffee, orange peel, and burned sugar syrup to great effect. The drink was deep, and tart. The second mixed real apple juice, pomelo, rosemary syrup and their house gin, a highly botanical pour from Galicia called Nordes that adds much dimension to the refreshing drink. 

For tapas, first up was the Burrata Cheese with Raspberries, Pistachio, and Basil Oil (THB320). Served with slices of crusty baguette, the burrata, from Hua Hin, was paired with fresh basil atop the basil oil, crumbled pistachio, sliced baby tomato, and plump raspberries. It was creamy, delicious, and satisfying. Would be — and was, actually — the perfect thing to snack on over drinks.

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

We also tried a plate of Red Tuna Tataki with Guacamole, Mango, and Ponzu Sauce (THB320). The tuna was very soft and the guacamole unusually tangy and fresh. It went heavy on the onion and lime, and even reminded us of pico de gallo a bit.

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

The next two dishes we tried are from Astray’s new offerings. The Barcelona-hailing Bomba (THB200) will definitely appear under the “Classics” section and fits well among the other offerings there, like Gambas Al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp) (THB210) that are standard on tapas menus and which some folks will always be disappointed if they can’t get.

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

This classic dish offers two large fried potato croquettes stuffed with minced, seasoned pork. The bombas are topped with a tab of aioli and green onion and sit on top of a generous dollop of smoky, tangy tomato sauce. The parcels are surrounded by tiny and addictive homemade potato sticks. As Astray placed the dish, he said, “you have to mash it with a fork before you eat it, to mix the flavors.” So we did.

This is a comfort dish, for sure. Fried mashed potato and pork are homey and filling. What makes the dish though is the smoky sauce it sits in, which offers a bit more depth below the other flavors.

Next up was another new dish that will appear in the “Gastro” section. Astray’s Squid with Black Rice (THB320) is a rice cooked risotto-style with squid ink, stock, bits of squid, and sofrito (a Spanish base preparation of onion, pepper, garlic, tomato, and herbs). The rice cooks down into a thick, earthy, briny, and pungent soup. It’s topped with five fried calamari around a blob of aioli. The dish is delicious and filling, offering strong flavors for those that like it. A tip for food scaredy cats that end up with this dish on their table: Mix the aioli into the rice to mellow it out a bit.

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

Next up was Grilled Chicken Skewer “Pincho Maruno” with Hummus (THB280). The chicken chunks were tender and nicely charred, falling off the skewer easily. The fluffy pita was also charred a bit, which we appreciated. On the side were homemade hummus, sour cream, and parsley oil. 

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

What came next is, along with the burrata, one of Astray’s signature dishes. Beef Cheeks Roll with Parmesan Creamy Polenta (THB320) is a European-Thai fusion dish featuring twice-cooked beef cheek that is at the breaking-down stage it’s so tender. This is often said to be the most delicious part of a cow, in this dish it’s minced, seasoned and stuffed into a fried spring roll. The ingenious spring roll is served in four sections in a puddle of highly parmesan-flavored polenta with the texture of farina, a ring of traditional brown gravy with the surprising addition of ginger oil, and parsley oil. 

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

In desserts, they have a Macadamia Ice Cream with White Choco Sauce and Choco Crumble (THB180) that sounds like heaven. There’s also a light, fruity one — the Passion Fruit with Coconut Foam (THB180), which is served in a hollowed glass bowl that lets you view the dish from the side as well as the top.

A few inches of pure passion fruit, crunchy and tangy, tempered with a few more inches of coconut foam and topped with strips of fried coconut chips. Apparently it’s best to “go deep” with the spoons, in order to get all three layers in each bite. And so, we did.

Photo: Broken Eggs/ FB
Photo: Broken Eggs/ FB

 

FIND IT:

Broken Eggs
112/7 Ekkamai Rd (Sukhumvit Soi 63)
Ekkamai
BTS Ekkamai
Open Daily, 5-11pm, Sundays 12-4pm, Closed Mondays

 

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